Jelly Legs

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With his debut album Jelly Legs, young Irish singer-songwriter Mundy tosses a sparkling sonic net over the vapid pop of the mid-'90s. His confessional musings and superbly crafted songs are a welcome and exciting addition to the high standards of Irish rock. With echoes of atmospheric, late-'80s pop (Ian McCullough) and Celtic rock (U2, the Waterboys) Mundy's occasionally eclectic sound is held together by poetic lyrics, a simple folk sensibility, and beautiful guitar work. Love, of course, is a frequent theme, from the sweet "To You I Bestow," (also featured on the soundtrack to the 1996 film William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet) to the supremely melancholy "Gin & Tonic Sky."

The "big sonic" atmosphere is pushed and pulled into harder-edged explorations of sound and subject on tracks such as "Blown Away" and "Sisters." Aching looks back at the hometown "Reunion" reach out and grab you with superbly manipulated angst. The fabulous epic "Springtown" continues the working-class traditions of Bruce Springsteen and Joe Strummer with sublimely Irish touches. Mundy's debut effort is well-crafted. With emotional glimpses into his world, there should be plenty left to explore.

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